Pre-spawn is one of the most exciting times of the year for bass fishermen. This is when the water temperature is starting to warm up, and the bass are moving from their wintering areas to their spawning areas. During this time, bass are hungry and more active than at any other time of the year. If you can find the right spots and use the right techniques, you can catch some of the biggest bass of the year during the pre-spawn period.
When Does Pre-Spawn Begin?
The pre-spawn period begins when the water temperature starts to rise, usually in late winter or early spring. The exact timing of the pre-spawn period depends on the location and the weather conditions. In general, pre-spawn begins when the water temperature is between 45-55°F and lasts until the water temperature reaches 60-65°F, which is when the bass start to spawn.
Where to Find Pre-Spawn Bass?
During the pre-spawn period, bass are on the move from their wintering areas to their spawning areas. They are looking for areas with the right temperature, cover, and structure. Here are some places to look for pre-spawn bass:
Shallow bays and coves: Bass move into these areas to warm up and feed before they head to their spawning areas. Look for areas with shallow water, vegetation, and cover, such as logs, stumps, and rocks.
Channel ledges and drop-offs: These areas are often adjacent to shallow spawning areas, and bass will use them as travel corridors to move from one area to another.
Points and humps: These areas can provide a feeding zone for pre-spawn bass as they move from their wintering areas to their spawning areas.
Deep structure: Bass will often hold in deep water near structure, such as brush piles or drop-offs, before moving shallow to spawn.
Tips for Pre-Spawn Bass Fishing
Pay attention to the water temperature: The water temperature is critical during the pre-spawn period. You can use a thermometer to check the water temperature and find the best spots to fish.
Use slow presentations: Pre-spawn bass are usually lethargic and won't chase fast-moving baits. Use slow presentations, such as jigs, soft plastics, and slow-rolling spinnerbaits, to entice them.
Fish shallow: Pre-spawn bass are often found in shallow water, especially near cover and structure. Look for areas with shallow water and fish them thoroughly.
Cover a lot of water: Bass can move quickly during the pre-spawn period, so it's essential to cover a lot of water to find them.
Be patient: Pre-spawn fishing can be challenging, and it may take some time to find the right spots and patterns. Be patient and persistent, and you will increase your chances of catching big bass.
Best Lures for Pre-Spawn Bass Fishing
Spinnerbaits: Slow-rolling spinnerbaits can be effective for pre-spawn bass fishing. Use a single Colorado blade or a tandem blade setup in colors that mimic crawfish or baitfish.
Crankbaits: Crankbaits can be effective for pre-spawn bass fishing, especially in deeper water. Use medium to deep-diving crankbaits in natural colors that mimic the local forage.
Jerkbaits: Jerkbaits can be effective for pre-spawn bass fishing, especially in clear water. Use suspending or slow-sinking jerkbaits in natural colors that mimic the local forage.
Swimbaits: Swimbaits can be effective for pre-spawn bass fishing, especially in larger sizes. Use swimbaits that mimic the local forage, such as shad or bluegill, and fish them slow and steady.
Best Colors for Pre-Spawn Bass Fishing
The best colors for pre-spawn bass fishing depend on the local forage and water clarity. In general, natural colors that mimic the local forage are effective, especially in clear water. Here are some of the best colors to use for pre-spawn bass fishing:
Green pumpkin: Green pumpkin is a versatile color that can imitate crawfish, bluegill, and other types of prey.
Watermelon: Watermelon is a natural color that can imitate crawfish and other types of prey.
Brown: Brown is a natural color that can imitate crawfish and other types of prey.
Shad: Shad colors, such as silver and white, are effective in clear water and can imitate the local baitfish.
Chartreuse: Chartreuse is a bright color that can be effective in stained water and can imitate crawfish and other types of prey.